In a separate report, IDC was sanguine about the tablet market, predicting a steady rise in sales of the devices from the fourth quarter this year through 2016. A strong competitive landscape -- including strong Android tablet shipments and hearty demand for Apple's new iPad mini -- led IDC to hike its 2012 forecast for the worldwide tablet market to 122.3 million units, up from its prior forecast of 117.1 million units.
In its latest tablet forecast, IDC also raised its 2013 forecast number to 172.4 million units, up from 165.9 million units. By 2016 global shipments should reach 282.7 million units, IDC said.
"The breadth and depth of Android has taken full effect on the tablet market as it has for the smartphone space," said Ryan Reith, a program manager for IDC, in the report.
Competition from Android in the phone and tablet markets may be one reason Apple shares have slumped recently even as sales of the company's mobile devices have increased.
This analysis does not square with what some analysts say, however.
"Apple's November iPad mini launch, along with its surprise refresh of the full-sized iPad, positions the company well for a strong holiday season," said IDC tablet research director Tom Mainelli.
However, as the economy heads into uncertain waters, many investors may be selling Apple shares simply to make some money on a stock that has gone through the roof over the past 12 months, before closing out the books for the year.
Meanwhile, all eyes are on holiday season sales, with hopes that they will inject some fuel into year-end fortunes for tech.